Pope's Eco Quotes: Education in Humanity

Editor's Note: Later this summer, Pope Francis will release his encyclical on the environment and human ecology. The highly anticipated teaching document will be the first from a pope to focus specifically on creation and human relationship with it.

In the two years since his papacy began, Francis -- like his predecessors Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II -- has spoken regularly on environmental issues, such as protecting creation, climate change, environmental degradation and natural disasters, water, food and sustainability. As part of the lead-up to the papal encyclical, Eco Catholic will revisit key speeches, addresses and messages from Francis on environmental topics.

Oct. 16, 2013, message for World Food Day, (part two of two, read part one here):

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[Graphic: Mick Forgey; Photo: CNS/Erik de Castro, Reuters]

"The theme chosen by the FAO for this year’s celebration is 'Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition'. I see in it an invitation to rethink and renew our food systems from a perspective of solidarity, by overcoming the logic of an unbridled exploitation of creation and by better orienting our commitment to cultivate and care for the environment and its resources, in order to guarantee food security and progress toward sufficient and healthy food for all. This poses a serious question about the need to substantially modify our lifestyle, including the way we eat which, in so many areas of the planet, is marked by consumerism and the waste and squandering of food. The data provided by FAO indicates that approximately one third of the global production of food is not available due to increasing loss and wastefulness. Eliminating this waste would drastically reduce the number of people suffering from hunger. Our parents taught us to appreciate what we receive and have and to regard it as a precious gift of God.

eco_quote_onethird_vertical_0.pngHowever, wasting food is only one of the fruits of the 'culture of waste' which often leads to sacrificing men and women to the idols of profit and consumption. It is a sad sign of the 'globalization of indifference' which slowly leads us to grow 'accustomed' to the suffering of others, as though it were normal. The challenge of hunger and malnutrition does not only have an economic or scientific dimension which regards the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the food supply chain; it also and above all has an ethical and anthropological dimension. To educate in solidarity therefore means to educate ourselves in humanity: to build a society that is truly human means to put the person and his or her dignity at the centre, always, and never to sell him out to the logic of profit. The human being and his dignity are 'pillars on which to build shared regulations and structures that, by overcoming pragmatism or the mere technical data, are capable of eliminating divisions and of narrowing existing gaps.'"

Read the full address here.

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ECO QUOTES ARCHIVE

  • Why the name 'Francis'

    “These days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?”

    Read the full post here.

  • Being a Protector, Part 1

    “The vocation of being a ‘protector’ … means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Being a Protector, Part 2

    “This is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Life's most essential element

    “Water is the most essential element for life, and the future of humanity depends on our capacity to guard it and share it.”

    Read the full post here.

  • The gift of knowledge

    “The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit … is a special gift, which leads us to grasp, through creation, the greatness and love of God and his profound relationship with every creature.”

    Read the full post here.

  • To cultivate or neglect

    “Cultivating and caring for creation … means making the world increase with responsibility, transforming it so that it may be a garden, an inhabitable place for us all.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Alternative Energy Sources

    “We need only think, for example, of alternative sources of energy, the development of which will assist in the protection of the environment.”

    Read the full post here.

  • The culture of waste

    “If there are children in so many parts of the world who have nothing to eat, that is not news, it seems normal. It cannot be so!”

    Read the full post here.

  • Alternative Energy Sources

    “We need only think, for example, of alternative sources of energy, the development of which will assist in the protection of the environment.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Time is running out

    “The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find appropriate solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There is therefore a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act.”

    Read the full post here.

  • An Important Step

    “I think that an important step is to tear down decisively the barriers of individualism, self withdrawal and the slavery of profit at all costs.”

    Read the full post here.